Calder Trophy Winner Predictions & Odds 2021

Calder Trophy

  • The 2021 season has one of the deepest pools of rookies in recent years and we take a closer look at some of the favorites to take home the Calder trophy in 2021 as the NHL rookie of the year
  • One team boasts two players that equally share +300 odds to take home the award at the season’s end
  • One of our top Calder prospects, drafted to the Minnesota Wild, hails from Russia with whom he won an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang games

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Calder Trophy Winner Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM, updated on March 09, 2021.

Player/Team Odds
Kirill Laprizov/Minnesota Wild -175
Nils Hoglander/Vancouver Canucks +1100
Alexis Lafreniere/NY Rangers +1800
Tim Stuetzle/Ottawa Senators +800
Igor Shestyorkin/NY Rangers +2000

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What Is the Calder Memorial Trophy?

The Calder Memorial Trophy is handed out annually to the player deemed to have been most efficient throughout his inaugural season in the NHL. The award is named after Frank Calder, the very first president of the NHL.

Last year’s winner was the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar, a defenseman who finished the season with 12 goals and 50 points – which is now a franchise record for rookie defensemen.

How Is the Calder Trophy Winner Selected?

The winner of this “rookie of the year” award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Members of the Association vote at the end of the regular season, with each voter ranking their top-five on a 10-7-5-3-1 point system. Ultimately three finalists are named.

Recent winners of the award include Colorado’s Cale Makar, Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson, the Islanders’ Matthew Barzal, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, and the Rangers’ (although was on Chicago at the time) Artemi Panarin.

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Favorites to Win the Calder Trophy 2021

Alexis Lafreniere/Igor Shestyorkin – New York Rangers (+1800)

Yes – the New York Rangers have not one, but two Calder contenders heading into the 2021 season, and both have equal +300 odds to take home the award based on the oddsmakers’ sportsbooks.

We’ll start with Alexis Lafreniere. Standing at 6 ft. 1 in. tall and weighing in at just under 200-pounds, this 19-year-old Quebec native was selected first overall by the New York Rangers in the 2020 entry draft and is expected to take to the ice immediately for the team.

Lafreniere spent his junior career playing in the QMJHL where he won rookie of the year honors and made the first all-star team in his rookie season. In three seasons with Rimouski Oceanic, Lafreniere accumulated 114 goals and 297 points in 173 games. He also represented Canada on the international stage as an 18-plus player four times, winning gold twice – including 2020 where he was named the tournament MVP.

Lafreniere heads into a New York Rangers team that is on the rise. Lafreniere will join offensive talents such as Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, and last year’s second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko. Playing as a left-winger, a position that the Rangers are, in fact lacking in other than Panarin, Lafreniere could see himself jump right into second-line minutes and potentially first or second-line powerplay action.

But Lafreniere isn’t the only Ranger with the potential to be named the league’s best rookie in 2021. With Rangers legendary goaltender Henrik Lundqvist now off in Washington (and recovering from heart surgery), Igor Shestyorkin is now expected to play his first full NHL season in tandem with Alexandar Georgiev.

The 25-year-old Shestyorkin was born in Russia and drafted at the age of 16-years-old to the KHL in 2012. It was in 2014 that the New York Rangers selected him in the fourth round, 118th-overall as the fifth-highest ranked goaltender in the KHL at the time. Playing for the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolfpack, Shestyorkin put up a record of 15-4-3, causing the Rangers to call the goaltender up on January 7, 2020, where he made 29 saves in a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

In 2020, Shestyorkin played 12 games and had a record of 10-2. His goals-against average sat at 2.52 and he posted a .932 save percentage. The Rangers obviously have a lot of confidence in their young netminder as there were many rumors floating around the last offseason that teammate Georgiev may be traded for other assets.

It’s not set in stone as to if the Rangers will name an official starting goaltender or not. Most likely, the two goalies will split the games to start the year. But Shestyorkin’s status as a +300 favorite to be named rookie of the year is definitely warranted.

Kirill Kaprizov – Minnesota Wild (-175)

At 23-years-old, Kirill Kaprizov is the oldest player on our list but that means he comes into his rookie season with more experience, having played for the KHL and MHL since 2013-14. In his time with the Russian leagues, Kaprizov netted 113 goals and 230 points in 293 games. He is the youngest player to reach 100 goals in the KHL.

The Russian also represented his country as an 18-plus player, including in 2018 when Russia won gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

He was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2015 in the fifth round as the 135th-overall pick. On July 3, 2020, Kaprizov signed a two-year entry deal with the Wild. He will take to the ice with the team in 2021 – a Minnesota Wild team that is in desperate need of a shake-up. Kaprizov won’t turn this team around on his own, but he is in a position that could see him collect more ice time than any other rookie this season. The thought of Kaprizov on the left-wing of center Nick Bjugstad is quite enticing. We would also expect to see the rookie getting plenty of powerplay time.

Tim Stuetzle – Ottawa Senators (+800)

Like Lafreniere, Tim Stuetzle is another member of the 2020 entry draft first-round. The 18-year-old German player was selected third overall by the Ottawa Senators. A center who can also play the wing, Stuetzle stands at 6 ft. tall and weighs just under 190-pounds.

Stuetzle was a huge grab for the Ottawa Senators, a team that has finished last or second last over the past two seasons. He spent last year in Germany with the DEL where he accumulated 34 points in 41 games. He also represented Germany the past two years in international play, netting five points in five games in both 2020 and 2021.

Stuetzle did suffer an arm injury last October that required surgery, but he has fully recovered and had been on the ice in full force for the Ottawa training camp. He signed a three-year entry deal with the Sens last December.

The Senators haven’t been shy about being a rebuilding team over the past few years. Stuestzle is a big offensive addition to a team that made some interesting roster changes this past offseason. Like Kirill Kaprizov, Stuetzle has a relatively good chance of seeing first or second-line minutes as well as powerplay time with the likes of Brady Tkachuk, Alex Galchenyuk, and Thomas Chabot.

We close off with an honorable mention to Dylan Cozens who was drafted seventh overall in 2019 by the Buffalo Sabres. A Canadian-born player with a lot of talent, Cozens has the potential to take the Calder home at season’s end (+1150) but was drafted to such an offensively-stacked team that he could find himself at a disadvantage when it comes to ice time and overall first-season impact.

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Ryan Bristlon

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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.

Email: [email protected]